- 18 Dec - 24 Dec, 2021
Healthy winter snacks
- 27 Nov - 03 Dec, 2021
- health & nutrition
If you thought that eating nuts and seeds, or dry fruits as we locally call them, can lead to unnecessary weight gain, think again. These superfoods might be tiny, but they are nutritionally mighty: when the winter chill sets in and sitting close to the heater isn’t enough to warm you up, these nuts and seeds will come to the rescue.
How, you ask? Well, nuts and seeds have a high concentration of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), proteins and fibre. When the body breaks these foods down for energy, it triggers thermogenesis – a heat production – in the body.
What’s more, a number of nuts and seeds are cheaper and more easily available during winters – it’s one of the miracles of nature that it provides everything you need to survive particular seasons. So, here are seven nuts and seeds you must indulge in during winters to stay warm, cosy and healthy.
Dry roast them, soak them, add them to salads or just grab a handful to snack on – eat them any way you like, but do have almonds this winter. From regulating blood sugar levels to reducing cholesterol, almonds can boost your overall immunity while keeping you warm. Just make sure that you don’t remove the skins off the almonds because those are storehouses of antioxidants!
Rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are great for your health. Moreover, walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties, and they can naturally moisturise your skin and give it a healthy glow, too. Add walnuts to your salads, cakes, cookies or just snack on them whole to generate more body heat, and ride out the cold weather.
These white and curvy nuts always get a bad reputation for being too fatty. But that’s just a myth you need to bust! Cashew nuts pack a powerful punch of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. You need these healthy fats to trigger thermogenesis or heat generation in your body to stay warm through the winter. Plus, cashew nuts also have a high content of minerals and antioxidants. Avoid cashew on your sweets, but instead, add them to your veggies to make them more delicious and more nutritious this winter!
Okay, so peanuts are technically seeds of legumes. But who cares about classification when something tastes as good and is as healthy as peanuts? Peanuts are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol issues and maybe even cancer. You don’t need any more reason to indulge in peanuts, whether as roasted snacks or in the form of that winter special snack – Chikki!
Black or white, sesame seeds taste amazing in salads, snacks, dips, curries and desserts. Sesame seeds are versatile and give an essential boost to your immunity. Just like nuts, sesame seeds are a rich source of antioxidants and minerals. Eat enough sesame seeds through the winter and you’ll be able to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular and respiratory health in ship-shape. Home-made tahini is an easy and simple way to include sesame seeds into your daily diet. Simply roast a cupful of white sesame seeds and blend with one-fourth cup of olive oil till you get a smooth paste. Enjoy it with veggies like roasted carrots or pita bread.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fatty acids, minerals like potassium, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper. They also have a high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants, which are highly effective in treating anaemia, kidney stones and prostate disorders – and that’s apart from generating enough heat to keep the winter chill away. You can dry roast pumpkin seeds and have them as a snack or add them to your meals to get some extra crunch.
So, pistachios are likely to be the most expensive of this lot of nuts and seeds, but its benefits are so many that you should definitely indulge in some when you can during winters. With the same nutritional value as most other nuts, pistachios can induce weight loss, lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and improve blood circulation too. What’s more, pistachios are flavourful and make a great addition to curries, salads and desserts.
These seven nuts and seeds are a must-have this winter, so make sure you stock up on them and add them to your daily diet. However, make sure that you have fresh nuts and seeds instead of those that have added salt or sugar, or are coated with chocolate. Eating those can definitely lead to unnecessary weight gain.
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